Get All Access for $5/mo

Is This the Worst Decision a Private Tech Company Can Make? The CEO of Nasdaq reveals where he thinks many private tech firms go wrong.

By Tom DiChristopher

This story originally appeared on CNBC

Luis Villa del Campo

Many technology start-ups are waiting longer to go public these days, and Nasdaq CEO Bob Greifeld said Thursday he backs that decision in many cases.

"I think the worst thing in the world is to go public too soon," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box." "I'd rather see companies wait a little bit longer, have an opportunity to provide the proper liquidity to their investors and employees, and they make sure they come public with a mature business model."

Start-ups are putting off initial public offerings for many reasons these days, including relaxed securities regulations for small business investment and robust private capital markets, which have created a growing number of billion-dollar start-up "unicorns."

In the last decade, the length of time it takes companies to go public has essentially doubled, according to Greifeld.

Nasdaq is capitalizing on this trend. Its subsidiary, Nasdaq Private Market, announced last month it had acquired SecondMarket, which facilitates liquidity for private company securities.

"We certainly believe staying private is a good alternative, and we also believe when you come public you need to have a fully mature business model and you should not rush that date," he said, noting that public companies face a rigorous and endless series of quarterly reports.

Read MoreWant to shake up an industry? Here's how

Greifeld said the IPO market remains strong this year despite a steep drop in initial public offering volume in the third quarter amid extreme market volatility.

IPO proceeds totaled $7.3 billion in the third quarter, down 81 percent from a near record $38.1 billion in the period last year, according to Pricewaterhouse Coopers' IPOWatch. That quarter included the IPO of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, the largest global stock market debut ever.

The Nasdaq's current backlog of 77 IPOs represents a "normal" rate, Greifeld said. He noted that number is understated because the 2012 JOBS Act allows companies to confidentially file for a public offering in order to test the waters.

"We could only be seeing the tip of the iceberg. We don't know as much," he said.

Tom DiChristopher is a News Associate for CNBC

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Marketing

Are Your Business's Local Listings Accurate and Up-to-Date? Here Are the Consequences You Could Face If Not.

Why accurate local listings are crucial for business success — and how to avoid the pitfalls of outdated information.

Money & Finance

Day Traders Often Ignore This One Topic At Their Peril

Boring things — like taxes — can sometimes be highly profitable.

Productivity

Want to Be More Productive Than Ever? Treat Your Personal Life Like a Work Project.

It pays to emphasize efficiency and efficacy when managing personal time.

Business News

'Passing By Wide Margins': Elon Musk Celebrates His 'Guaranteed Win' of the Highest Pay Package in U.S. Corporate History

Musk's Tesla pay package is almost 140 times higher than the annual pay of other high-performing CEOs.

Growing a Business

He Immigrated to the U.S. and Got a Job at McDonald's — Then His Aversion to Being 'Too Comfortable' Led to a Fast-Growing Company That's Hard to Miss

Voyo Popovic launched his moving and storage company in 2018 — and he's been innovating in the industry ever since.

Starting a Business

I Left the Corporate World to Start a Chicken Coop Business — Here Are 3 Valuable Lessons I Learned Along the Way

Board meetings were traded for barnyards as a thriving new venture hatched.